I am loving this Phoenix weather! This is the reason people come visit. Finally got to enjoy a nice hike this week.
Monday was National Cheeseburger Day, but since I’m not currently working, I asked a buddy if he would treat me to In-N-Out (Wimpy the Moocher style).
I get so much junk mail every day – coupons, credit card offers, political fliers – but I had no idea there was a divorce mailing list out there too, and I happen to be an exclusive member now. So suddenly I’m getting letters from local attorneys offering their services at a discounted price. Seriously?!
The only unsolicited contact I welcome these days, regarding my divorce, is a friend or family member inquiring about my well-being. And I’ve been so blessed to have such wonderful people reach out recently. But when they ask if I’m OK, I don’t know how to answer sometimes, because that depends on the day. Or even the time of day. I can go from peaceful and thankful to wretched and sobbing as I walk from my computer to the fridge. And if I start playing Gummy Drop on my phone during a moment of self-pity, things can quickly spiral into a full-on “woe is me” extravaganza.
I understand that the grieving process is not linear. So unfortunately, I can’t just go down the list of emotions and mark them off as I go through them. Instead I’m realizing that I continuously have to release the anger & pain, forgive, move on, and in some cases, do it all over again the next day.
I love to read books, and I’m so glad that immediately following the decision my ex-husband and I made to go our separate ways, I came across The Good Karma Divorce, written by Judge Michele Lowrance. She has seen many couples tear each other apart in her courtroom, hurling insults and blame back & forth in an attempt to release the unbearable pain they feel inside. (Of course, that never works, and only causes more pain.)
So I decided early on, that the moment I started feeling any anger or resentment I would remind myself of the kind of person I strive to be – compassionate, forgiving, loving, and kind. And in doing so, I am reminded of the reason I chose to get married in the first place – because I once found this person worthy of being a part of my family. He was the person I chose to put all my trust in. For a short while, he was my best friend.
Just like we collect pictures, birthday cards, and travel souvenirs, we also collect memories from past relationships. And I choose to collect the ones that make me smile. The ones that remind me of the wonderful human beings we both were when we were in love.
So I may or may not be OK at this very moment, but I will be OK in due time. Just bear with me for a while.
Yes, I named my bike. Her name is Blair. And today we’re heading out for a ride…
It’s easy to get down about yourself when you don’t have a job, and you’re having no luck finding one. But I think gratitude can change everything. So I practice it every day to remind myself that not everything is so bad. I started keeping a notebook by my bed, and I fill an entire page with all the things I’m thankful for before I go to sleep.
It’s interesting to see what’s at the top of my list these days. So many intangibles I used to take for granted before. Like being able to smell the sweet aroma of incense burning in the living room. The sound of Norah Jones playing softly in the background. Being able to read the wise words left behind by Maya Angelou. Cooling down with a cold glass of water after a long run. My health and well-being.
It’s not that I didn’t appreciate these things before. The difference is that my senses have been elevated to a new level in this situation that has made me realize nothing is guaranteed. After all, when you have so much at your disposal, it’s easy to miss the small things – in some cases the most important things. But life always has a way of getting you to refocus, and puts it all in perspective for you. For me, it only took divorce and unemployment.
I don’t know what’s ahead, but for the first time in a long time, I’m not all that scared. My fear and anxiety about the future has decreased significantly. And I know it has everything to do with that fact that I’m focusing on gratitude. Because when you pause to say thank you for each and every single blessing that comes your way, it keeps you pretty busy, and you don’t have time for much else.
I wish you many blessings!
You can’t tell now, but I used to be pretty good at running. Well…truth be told, I was kind of decent. Anyway, it’s been a looooong time, so be nice. I’m getting back to it, but not signing up for any marathons just yet.
Thanks for watching my first episode! Many more to come…
On April 21, 2014 I ran the Boston Marathon. It was my 6th marathon, and the last time I put on a pair of running shoes to hit the road. A lot has changed in my life since then. And with each stressor that came along, so did a few extra pounds.
A pound for losing my glamourous job (no, not really) as a radio personality.
A pound for having to take money out of my IRA to pay rent.
A pound for switching careers to accept a job at a non-profit organization.
A pound for the 7 excruciating months I spent in that position.
A pound for meeting the love of my life.
A pound for quitting the job at the non-profit.
A pound for eloping in Vegas!
A pound for months of fruitless job searching. (Make that about 10 pounds.)
A pound for taking MORE money out of my IRA.
A pound for coming out of retirement and returning to radio.
A pound for getting divorced 2 years post Vegas.
A pound for quitting yet another job that was not a good fit.
A pound for each friend I lost along the way (because I tend to retreat when my life’s a mess).
A pound for the anxiety medication I had to take to cope with all of the above.
And a few extra pounds just because I love pastries.
That’s a lot of pounds! And a lot of stress. So why did I ever stop running? After all, running had always been my buoy in the past. After draining my savings, short-selling my house, losing my cat, and multiple break-ups, it was running that kept me sane. But it’s so easy to want to hide when life gets messy. At least for me it is. I certainly don’t enjoy being watched as I consistently stumble and fumble my way through this chaotic maze.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a good friend and mentor. With tears pouring down my face, I said to him, “I had such a good life. I was running. I had a great job. I was traveling. I had it all figured out!” To which he responded, “Maybe you didn’t, and this is your opportunity to rebuild your life and come out even stronger than before.”
It was the most powerful perspective anyone had ever offered me. (Thanks man!) Of course, that was only possible because I was finally ready to hear it. But it reminded me of something I’ve known all along. Life is a choice. Simple as that. I get to choose how all this will define me. So either I lace up to join the race, and choose to turn all of this into something meaningful. Or I stay behind the barricades and just watch from the sidelines as the runners go by, in which case my life will have been irrelevant.
So, my new journey starts here, headed to reclaiming my title as the Crazy Sexy Tiger I’ve always known myself to be…but much more fierce than before. 😉 As I continue searching for a new job, kick start my running again, and follow my curiosity, I’ll be sharing it here with you, in hopes that it will inspire you as well to reclaim (or claim for the first time) whatever your chosen title in life is.